Business English

Business English Articles

Business English has its own, distinct characteristics. The vocabulary you need depends on the sector, and the culture of the business you are in. 

We will publish articles here that cover most general business situations.

With dictionary look up - double-click any word to find its definition.

Business E.T.H.I.C.S

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Douglas Adams

Ask anyone in the world of business whether corporate ethics is an oxymoron and you are likely to get a somewhat awkward answer, full of platititudes and guff. Of course everyone believes that businesses should operate in an ethical manner, but the sad truth is that many people are willing to sacrifice their morals if it means adding a few extra zeros to their pay cheques. Some people call it "pushing the envelope", and seem to think that if it isn't strictly against the law, then it's okay.

Nowadays, it seems that every few weeks a business scandal makes the headlines.  Whilst you would assume that only large corporations could be at the centre of such a scandal, today even the little guys are having their business ethics questioned. We have looked at a few recent case studies, large and small.

Not Necessarily the High Life on the High Street Right Now

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The last half of 2008, and now into 2009 has not proven very inspiring on the business, economic, and financial front. With a recession in full swing in numerous countries, government, corporate, and private concerns are looking for a way out of the downturn. A return to economic health will not occur overnight.

The problem is too deep and widespread. It will take a return to sound business fundamentals and doing away with wild and rampant speculation and get-rich-quick-schemes on the markets. If businesses do not get their financial houses in order investors can expect to see corporate bankruptcies increase this year. With unemployment increasing, it is going to be a tough year for many businesses to remain solvent as sales and profits wane.


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Ergonomics is the science of adjusting your work environment to fit your body and make it as comfortable and healthy as possible. Despite its 51-year history as a branch of science, ergonomics (often referred to as "human factors" or "human engineering") is frequently disregarded as a part of office safety. But proper ergonomics will help you eliminate the problems associated with Repetitive Strain Injuries.

RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries) are more often a result of bad posture while operating a computer than any other tool operation in the workplace. Unlike carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a diagnosis, RSI is a description that encompasses many diagnoses including carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment, deQuervain's syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, tennis elbow, and tendonitis.


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Christmas is a time for giving and that applies to businesses as much as it does to private individuals. Many entrepreneurs and business owners like to demonstrate their gratitude to those who have contributed to the success of their company by giving appropriate gifts. But, it is very important to consider what to give, as any gift must be appropriate and avoid giving any offense.

14 Email Do's and Dont's

Ways to make your messages more efficient and effective

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Anyone who regularly uses email to communicate with coworkers or other professional contacts has probably noticed that, despite its many positives, email can also be incredibly inefficient.

Think about it: How many times have you volleyed a half-dozen messages with a coworker over the course of two days just to schedule a meeting? How many hours of your life have you wasted trying to decipher messages missing one key word? And how many tasks did you interrupt today alone so you could respond to a note that just arrived in your inbox? When you consider how many issues email can pose — and how many of your nonprofit's staff members use it to communicate on a daily basis — you can begin to see just how much this tool can actually hinder your organization's ability to get things done.

The good news is that you can get back to a state of efficiency without giving up email altogether; you just have to get rid of some bad email habits — and convince your co-workers to do the same.

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The words you choose to speak serve as platforms from which your tone of voice creates meaning. Think about how your tone of voice can change the meaning of a sentence: